[News] Big Pharma price gouging

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Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.

The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“What is it that they are doing differently that has led to this dramatic increase?” said Dr. Judith Aberg, the chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She said the price increase could force hospitals to use “alternative therapies that may not have the same efficacy.”

Turing’s price increase is not an isolated example. While most of the attention on pharmaceutical prices has been on new drugs for diseases like cancer, hepatitis C and high cholesterol, there is also growing concern about huge price increases on older drugs, some of them generic, that have long been mainstays of treatment.

Although some price increases have been caused by shortages, others have resulted from a business strategy of buying old neglected drugs and turning them into high-priced “specialty drugs.”

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/b...ncrease-in-a-drugs-price-raises-protests.html

I just saw this on Nightly News and he is saying that he will now lower the price, but it will still be expensive. Time to BOYCOTT greedy businesses. Surely there are other meds on the market that can treat these illnesses.
With the drug being older, I'm hoping there are other generic manufacturers who offer the drug at a better price.

I saw the guy on the news too, what a jerk.
He's sure isn't making big Pharma looking any better, that price change is awful. I feel for the people who need this med and get held hostage by assholes like this guy.
... Surely there are other meds on the market that can treat these illnesses.

Nope. This drug is the only one that treats that condition. It's a monopoly market and Mr. Shkreli did his homework before acquiring the rights to it for $50MM.

With the drug being older, I'm hoping there are other generic manufacturers who offer the drug at a better price.

Nope. Mr. Shkreli's acquired lab is the only one approved by the FDA to manufacture that drug. Other makers can try building a production line for the drug since it's no longer protected by patent, but there is an approval process for the FDA to certify that their formulation is good. That approval process can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years and the costs involved are non-trivial.

Mr. Shkreli essentially bought a product that has a 6 month to 2 year window of guaranteed monopoly status and he is exploiting the heck out of it to generate 50% or more ROI for his investors.

How can ANYONE justify an increase like this?

Did you watch the first video in this thread? He lies his arse off, smirks and trash talks folks on social media. He's a sociopath IMO.
Really Cool Update....

Now here's a pharmaceutical company to keep your eyes on!

TRENTON, N.J. -- Stepping into the furor over eye-popping price spikes for old generic medicines, a maker of compounded drugs will begin selling $1 doses of Daraprim, whose price recently was jacked up to $750 per pill by Turing Pharmaceuticals.

San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc., which mixes approved drug ingredients to fill individual patient prescriptions, said Thursday it will supply capsules containing Daraprim's active ingredients, pyrimethamine and leucovorin, for $99 for a 100-capsule bottle, via its site: www.imprimiscares.com.

The 3 1/2-year-old drug compounding firm also plans to start making inexpensive versions of other generic drugs whose prices have skyrocketed, Chief Executive Mark Baum told The Associated Press.

Walgreens buying Rite Aid, creating drugstore giant

"Walgreens buying Rite Aid, creating drugstore giant"


NEW YORK (AP) -- Walgreens is buying rival Rite Aid for about $9.41 billion in cash, creating a drugstore giant with nearly 18,000 stores around the world.

The deal combines the largest and third-largest U.S. drugstore chains, based on store counts. And it makes one of the world's largest pharmaceutical buyers even bigger at a time when other key health care players like insurers and drugmakers also are expanding through multi-billion dollar deals.

So what do you think? Good news or bad news?

All my local Walgreens have always been very helpful. While it's the total opposite in Rite Aid. I'd rather do business in Walgreens any day.
Competition breeds innovation and value for the consumer. Monopolies have a lot of power and that can be used for good or bad (and can change over time). Generally, I prefer to see healthy competition.
In your first video, Bernard, they say it is time to get a better medicine for this illness. They say that it will mutate over time. Just like penicillin has. Where would we be without other antibiotics?

This is a 13 year old that bought the rights to the medicine? Or were they just comparing him to a 13 year old.
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